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Baptism Barrier, Special Educational Needs, and Irish Language rights inform Sinn Féin’s approach to School Admissions Bill – Nolan

22 June, 2017

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Education and Skills Carol Nolan has today said that the School Admissions Bill must protect the rights of all children to receive an education. Teachta Nolan was speaking following the Committee’s report on the Bill and as the deadline for amendments passes this morning.

Teachta Nolan said:

“The right of all children to receive an education on an equal basis is our primary focus in determining our approach to this Bill.

“I, along with a number of colleagues on the Oireachtas Committee, fought hard to ensure that recommendations on the Baptism Barrier, the rights of children with special educational needs, and the rights of native Irish speakers were included in the Committee’s report on this Bill.

“I have submitted a number of amendments to the Bill including one to prohibit publicly funded schools from discriminating against students on the basis of their religious beliefs.

“I have also sought to extend statutory powers to the National Council for Special Education to establish an autism or special class where there is local demand.

“In terms of native Irish language speakers, I have sought to ensure that those who are brought up through the medium of Irish at home will retain the right to access education through the medium of Irish.

“I hope that my colleagues on the Education Committee will work with me to help ensure that this bill enhances the rights of children to receive their education.

“I also hope that the Minister will consider the recommendations of the Committee Report and use this opportunity to reflect these views in the Bill.” 

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